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A top official of Greyhound Lines Inc. today said that, despite the nearly four-month-long strike by its union drivers and mechanics, the company is operating 95 percent of its normal schedules and is carrying 75 percent of the number of passengers it did before the rancorous walkout March 2 by members of the Amalgamated Transit Union.

Lynn (Spike) Herzig, division general manager of the bus company, was in Buffalo primarily to offer words of encouragement to the 10 Greyhound employees working inside the Metro Transportation Center.

Outside the center, four striking members of the union huddled at the driveway entrance to the terminal.

A Greyhound spokeswoman said that the company added eight more scheduled runs to and from Buffalo this week, bringing to 25 the total of buses in an out of the city. At this time last summer, she said, 26 Greyhound buses were servicing Buffalo.

Herzig said Greyhound's bankruptcy filing early this month has given the company "breathing time."

He said one of the reasons he was in Buffalo was to see that customers' needs are being met.

"It's been a difficult time for everyone," he said. Since the strike began, a picket has been crushed to death by a bus driven by a replacement driver and shootings and other strike-related violence has wounded 62 people and damaged 36 buses and terminals.

Despite the company's problems, Herzig is confident that Greyhound has turned the corner.

The union pickets remain pessimistic. "I don't think the company is going to survive. I don't care, at this point, if I go back," said one who declined to give his name.

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